The Supreme Court recently appointed retired apex court judge justice RV Raveendran to supervise a three-member expert committee that will investigate whether the Centre or any state government acquired and used Israeli spyware Pegasus for surveillance of Indian citizens.
The Supreme Court said the committee would further propose a mechanism to ensure prevention of invasion of citizens’ right to privacy; a forum to raise grievances on suspicion of illegal surveillance of their devices; and the feasibility of setting up of a well-equipped independent premier agency to investigate cybersecurity vulnerabilities and cyberattacks.
Noting that the snooping allegations are “grave” and truth should be out, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana asked the committee to submit its report “expeditiously”. Justice Raveendran would oversee the functioning of the technical committee and would be assisted by Alok Joshi, former IPS officer (1976 batch) and Dr. Sundeep Oberoi, Chairman, Sub Committee in (International Organisation of Standardisation/International Electro-Technical Commission/Joint Technical Committee).
Justice Raveendran served as a judge of the apex court from 2005 to 2011. He has been associated with several important judgments, including ones on OBC reservation, the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts, and the scope of the Union’s power to remove Governors.